Vikings and Mermaids, Moths and Camels

Koo Press Relaunch

Sunday 20 November 2011 | 2pm

Aden Country Park, Mintlaw | Admission free

North East Writers

Ian Crockatt: Skald
Maureen Ross: Day Moth
Keith Murray: The Camel's Back
Haworth Hodgkinson: A Weakness for Mermaids

Aberdeen-based publisher Koo Press has recently reprinted several titles from its acclaimed poetry chapbook series.

At this event in the theatre at Aden Country Park, poets Ian Crockatt, Maureen Ross, Keith Murray and Haworth Hodgkinson will read from the relaunched books, and copies will be available for sale. The event will also include music from Haworth Hodgkinson.

Entrance to the event is free, and the Aden café will be open for refreshments.


Ian Crockatt completed an MLitt in Creative Writing at Aberdeen University in 2010. He is an experienced poet, has been a prize winner in national poetry competitions, and has twice been awarded writer's bursaries by the Scottish Arts Council. Skald (Koo Press, 2009), is a series of 30 poems using a form derived from Old Norse skaldic poetry of the 8th to 12th centuries.

A gold star should go to Ian Crockatt for Part 2 of his epic 'Skald'. His use of language is riveting... I would urge you to read this aloud to appreciate the rhythms and impact of Crockatt's chosen words... stunning work.

(New Hope International)

Ian Crockatt

Day Moth

Born and brought up in the North-East of Scotland, Maureen Ross has written poetry from early childhood till the present day. Most of it ends up in the bucket. However some of it has seen the light of day in recent years in Pushing Out the Boat and Storm. Koo Press first published her chapbook Day Moth in 2006.

Maureen Ross weaves both human and pastoral elements, a tapestry rich in the ever-changing year. She pulls surprise with the landscape of each mood — moonlight flights or a hankering for touch, to falling words and open flowers. Indeed, the finality of death is one of open grief and sardonic realism. However, let's not forget the humour that snowflakes in between, when writing about cheese (at night) or a possibly offensive T-shirt.

(Douglas W. Gray)

Maureen Ross

The Camel's Back

Keith Murray is a poet and publisher who lives near Aberdeen Beach where he finds inspiration for his poems in which birds feature quite a bit. He believes that anything good is possible and that the power of words can conquer all the ills of the world. The Camel's Back was published by Koo Press in 2009.

Recollection, it appears, is a critical aspect to Keith Murray's poems, serving him well in these intimate narratives. Existence itself is measured and studied, opening with a portrayal of cosy flat life and ending with the austere existence endured at Auschwitz. In between, though, and above all, lies the matter of love, where a density of feelings is tangible, and aching reflections are like an umbra on the page. Sometimes political, always the dreamer; herein lie poems that rain and shine, where pigeons feed from his library hands and herring are framed in the shores of time....

(Douglas W. Gray)

Keith Murray

A Weakness for Mermaids

Haworth Hodgkinson is a poet and playwright, composer and improvising musician. His work often involves collaboration with other writers, musicians and dancers. He performs as poet and musician with the multimedia Blue Salt Collective, and is the founder and artistic director of North-East Scotland's New Words festival. His poetry is widely published in magazines and anthologies, and his Koo Press collection A Weakness for Mermaids first appeared in 2007.

See for more.

Often clever, always bizarre, 'A Weakness for Mermaids' is an excellent example of what can be achieved with an open-minded and dexterous approach to the English language. If the reader takes a similar approach — after all poetry is only what the reader makes of it — they will be pleasantly rewarded. A fine achievement, particularly from a man with mushrooms growing on the backs of his hands.

(Calum Petrie)

Haworth Hodgkinson

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